LANCASHIRE’S new police and crime commissioner has refused to comment over ‘cronyism’ claims regarding the appointment of three assistants.

County council leader Coun Geoff Driver has said the recruitment process behind the £20,000 a year posts was ‘an absolute disgrace’.

But Clive Grunshaw, the new PCC, has remained silent over claims that the new posts represented ‘jobs for the boys’ – and how long the trio would remain ‘interim’ assistant commissioners.

Former Lancashire Police Authority chairman Bruce Jassi, his deputy Amanda Webster and Blackburn’s ex-independent member Saima Afzal are taking up the two-day-a-week ‘interim’ posts.

It was previously announced that Ibrahim Master, from Blackburn, would serve as Mr Grunshaw’s official deputy, on £30,000 per year.

Coun Driver, speaking at a full county council meeting, said that the appointment of the assistant police and crime commissioners was ‘an absolute shambles’.

“It just seems to be jobs for the boys,” he said.

And county councillor Sam Chapman, who runs the Top of the Cops website on police commissioners, said that the appointment of the assistant crime commissioners was not bound by the same rules as the deputy’s post. “There is no definition of how long these interim appointments are meant to last or what the procedure is to recruit someone permanently,” he added.

Mr Grunshaw has previously said that he would be operating a more streamlined operation – with a 16-strong team instead of the previous 28.

But he refused to comment when asked by the Lancashire Telegraph to clarify the nature of the ‘interim’ appointments.